Black Death, It Never Left

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When someone says the words “Black Death” or “the Plague”, many people think about the great disease epidemic that wiped out many lives in the 1300s. The only issue is the fact that the plague still exists today, and has continued to take lives for the last 700 years. Giovanni Boccaccio wrote a journal as he went through the epidemic in 1348 in Florence, Italy. He relays what the people were like as the plague came upon them. How family would abandon those who were sick, how some chose to isolate themselves while others indulged in the finer things before they believed they would meet their end at the hands of the disease. After reading the ever descending  doom that seemed to cover Florence at that time I started to wonder, how all of society would react to another major plague epidemic? The news post on CNN that I found talks about the most recent cases where the bacteria based disease has struck in the western parts of the United States. It states that there are antibiotics today that can help those infected, but that there are some strains around the world that are stronger than the original disease. This came as a shock to me because personally I didn’t think that the plague was around much anymore before reading this post. The fact that we have not been able to eliminate this disease after over 700 years raises an issue for me, and a concern for the future. If the plague has already taken many lives in some African countries and some parts of the western U.S., what is stopping it from eventually coming to our door steps in Minnesota? We may have antibiotics in the United States now, but what happens when the more dangerous form reaches us? Will we go back to the habits of our past or will we find a better path for our future?

 

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